U.S. Markets closed

Greece's Frigoglass moves parts production to save Greek plant

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek refrigerator equipment maker Frigoglass (FRIGO.AT) will move part of its production from Romania and Turkey back home in an effort to keep its domestic plant operating and secure about 100 jobs in the austerity-hit country, it said on Wednesday.

Stuck in its sixth year of recession and with record unemployment of nearly 28 percent, Greece has seen its biggest listed company, bottler Coca-Cola HBC (CCH.L), move its headquarters and listing abroad this year to avoid higher taxes.

Viohalco, the country's biggest metals processing group, last month also decided on a similar move.

Frigoglass is a worldwide equipment supplier to Coca-Cola HBC (CCH.N) and brewers such as Heineken (HEIN.AS).

The move to transfer production lines from abroad will turn the firm's historic plant in Kato Achaia in southern Greece into a spare parts maker for Europe and a refurbishment facility for beverage coolers, an official at the company said.

Workers at the plant have been on a three-day work schedule in the last two years, after the unit was hit by soft demand for coolers around the world.

Frigoglass said it would initially invest 500,000 to 800,000 euros in the plant and has proposed to workers a five-day week along with a wage cut.

Frigoglass has operations in 19 countries, including Russia, Romania, Turkey, the United States, China, India and Nigeria.

The firm posted a 40 percent drop in net profit to 10 million euros in the first half of the year.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and George Georgiopoulos; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)